A journey of discovery

Being South Dakota State University’s 20th president is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, one I embrace and that is deeply personal. Like many of you, I Dunn_Barry_2016am an alumnus of SDSU. I have seen and benefitted firsthand from its multifaceted and enriching work: as a student, professor and administrator, and as husband, father, lay leader and member of the larger SDSU community.

My service as president is a journey I begin as part of that extended community, with all of you. And like all of you, I’ve had the opportunity to observe the challenges we face—as a university and as a society—from the critical issues facing our state, the nation and the world. The kinds of challenges this university was created to address.

SDSU was founded as the state’s 1862 land-grant university, as a powerful engine of transformation. New ideas have always been the fuel that drives that engine and impels the university’s mission of teaching, research and outreach—not just for the elite, but for all who come with a passion to learn, achieve and succeed.

Today South Dakota State University stands as a beacon of opportunity and access for the state, a leader in the creation of knowledge and innovation. It champions sharing that knowledge in ways that will improve and enrich lives and drive economic development, not only for our students, but for people and communities across our state and nation.

And as we recommit ourselves to that historic land-grant mission, our eyes are on the future as we contemplate how best to meet new challenges as they arise.

To help guide our efforts, we turn to our many stakeholders. We will reach out across the state to reintroduce ourselves and the good work we do at South Dakota State University. We will begin new conversations with SDSU alumni and the communities from which they come. We will build upon and strengthen longstanding relationships with K-12 and other educators, students and potential students, under-represented communities, employers and industries, advocacy groups, civic organizations and many others.

To make the most of those conversations, we begin with three simple goals: Listen. Ask. Share. We want to hear your ideas about the future of South Dakota State University and we want to share ours with you.

The people of South Dakota have made a long-term investment in South Dakota State University in order to assure it remains a strong and dynamic institution. As alumni, you also made an investment—in your individual futures and in the future of the communities from which you came—when you chose SDSU.

We see the return on those investments every day, among individuals and in communities that are robust and vibrant. It is with pride and a profound sense of accomplishment that we watch our alumni thrive and become the employers and thought leaders who are opening doors for future generations.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts about how best to accomplish those things. Ours will be a journey of discovery, bringing with it new ideas and new opportunities for our students and stakeholders, and expanding the reach of the university.

Our shared future begins now.

Barry H. Dunn

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